Trent Reznor Reportedly Takes Reins Again On Upcoming NIN Album
Bandleader is said to have written,
produced, performed almost all music
on record due in September.
Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor said he was
guided by random forces in making his long-awaited
forthcoming double album, The Fragile, a project on
which he teams with rapper Dr. Dre and one he touts
in a Rolling Stone article as his best work yet.
"This record has been about going off on tangents --
about starting in one spot, the feather floats over to
another spot, then starts to go this way," Reznor said
in the next issue of the music magazine. "The next
song picks up where that left off, and moves that
But that apparently doesn't mean
it's all been easy. Rather, the
industrial-rock icon is quoted as
calling the two years he's spent on
the album "madness."
In the Rolling Stone issue that hits
shelves Friday, Reznor reflects on
his creative process for The
Fragile, the industrial-rock act's
third studio LP and its first in five
years. The album, on which
Reznor worked closely with
co-producer/engineer Alan Moulder
(Smashing Pumpkins, Elastica), is
tentatively due in September.
"It's real hard for me to have any
degree of objectivity," said Reznor,
who has remained relatively quiet
about the project other than
releasing a few vague television
and billboard advertisements.
"People say, 'What's it sound like?'
I don't f---ing know. I like it. It's by
far the best record I've ever done."
He added that the LP is "one of
those records that doesn't jump
out of the speakers, that
announces it's at the top of the
charts, right from the first song.
Nor was it intended to be that."
NIN fans have high expectations for
the album. Jason Mastin, 23, wrote
in an e-mail that he and everyone
he knows "fully expect it to be a masterpiece."
Jay DeBard, webmaster of the NIN fan site "Burning
Souls," expressed confidence that NIN will live up to
"It is, of course, the most anticipated album of this
year -- and of last ... and I think Trent will live up to
that," the 18-year-old DeBard, who runs his site out of
Dayton, Ohio, wrote in an e-mail. "I think it's going to
be a major hit. ... I think there will be a mix of things
on there, like some good guitars and drums, but also
some synthesizers like Trent used in [Pretty Hate
Machine] ... with the more industrial sound of The
Downward Spiral as well."
Reznor, who recently teamed with hip-hop veteran Dr.
Dre to record several tracks in Los Angeles for
another project, wrote almost all the material for the
new NIN album in his New Orleans Nothing Studios,
according to the Rolling Stone article. Dre also mixed
one track for the new NIN album, Reznor said, adding
that he wants to meet the rapper's minimalist
recording style halfway on their joint projects.
"I'm interested in downscaling, being a little more
efficient," Reznor is quoted as saying.
The album will contain more than two dozen songs,
according to Rolling Stone. "The Day the World Went
Away" reportedly will be the first single from The
Fragile. The article's author, David Fricke,
characterizes one part of the song as having echoing,
heavy-metal guitars, subtle electronics and acoustic
guitar, while another features piano and acoustic bass
against Reznor's vocal.
The single's B-side reportedly will contain
"Starfuckers, Inc.," which is said to be a brutal piece
of industrial metal, along with another song called
The article says the upcoming album will include
such nontraditional Nine Inch Nails songs as "Into the
Void" and "La Mer," the latter of which features a
revolving piano melody. The LP also reportedly
includes "Pilgrimage" and "We're in This Together."
Reznor played most of the music on The Fragile, in
addition to writing and producing the effort. However,
guest performers include former King Crimson
guitarist Adrian Belew, who lent a hand on NIN's 1994
breakthrough The Downward Spiral; Ministry drummer
Bill Rieflin; and keyboardist Mike Garson, who has
played with superstar rockers David Bowie and
Though NIN keyboardist/drummer Charlie Clouser
said last fall the group was collaborating more than
ever on the upcoming album, the Rolling Stone article
said that Reznor wrote, produced and "save for a few
odd licks played every note on The Fragile."
"When I get ideas, I'll get 20 of them at once," Reznor
said of his tendency to work alone. "It's hard for me,
trying to wait for someone to catch up."
The recording of NIN's third full-length studio album
has been shrouded in secrecy for much of the past
year. Since late 1997, when work began, Reznor has
been virtually unseen outside his New Orleans studio.
In addition to their 1989 debut, Pretty Hate Machine,
which featured the hit "Head Like a Hole" (RealAudio
excerpt), Nine Inch Nails have released The
Downward Spiral and a number of remix collections,
including the Broken and Fixed EPs (both 1992) and
Further Down the Spiral (1995).
Reznor also told Rolling Stone he will tour in support
of the new album -- but "not like we did before, a fair
Contributing Editor Teri vanHorn reports: [ Thurs., June 17, 1999 9:03 AM EDT ]
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located at SUS.